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From this summer, with permanent 4-wheel drive
And now come the RS 4 Cabrio and Avant
To complete Audi's V8 RS 4 quattro family

Audi RS4 quattro cabriolet - front side view

Audi RS4 quattro cabriolet with an electro-hydraulic hood.

27th February 2006.

Just a few months after the launch of the RS 4 saloon (sedan) version in late 2005, Audi's distinctively sporty family will widen its options further this summer, with its first time offering of the four-seater RS 4 Cabriolet and the RS 4 Avant (break).

As a high-performance product from quattro GmbH, the RS 4 family has numerous new features to distinguish it.

Most notably, there is the V8 engine with an output of 420 bhp. This is the first time that a manufacturer has combined petrol direct injection with a high-revving concept. Engine speeds of up to 8,250 rpm are possible.

Audi RS4 quattro cabriolet - back side view

The roof can be operated (21 seconds) at up to speeds of 30 km/h.

Another highlight is the suspension with the latest generation of quattro permanent four-wheel drive and Dynamic Ride Control.

The Cabriolet and Avant have been subjected to a rigorous regime of weight reduction measures to make sure that they are equally sporty. Even though the engineers have systematically applied lightweight construction principles, all RS 4 versions feature luxurious equipment that singles out the Audi RS 4 as a high-performance vehicle suitable for everyday driving.

RS 4 Avant - The first RS 4 generation was available exclusively as an Avant, because it was clear that there was market demand for that body version.

Although in production for only slightly more than one and a half years, sales of the first-generation RS 4 Avant topped 6,000 units. Incentive enough to include this attractive body version in the range again.

Audi RS4 quattro Avant - front side view

Ride height of RS 4 is 30 millimetres lower than that of the standard A4.

The single-frame radiator grille with a rhombus-pattern grid, the additional air inlets at the front end and the alloy wheels developed specially for the RS 4, together with the flared wheel arches, all set the Audi RS 4 Avant apart from a standard A4. Flared sills and lower door trims coordinated with the sills are other differentiating features. Then there are the RS 4 badges at the front and rear, as well as on the side rubbing strips.

Over and above providing visual accents, the rear apron with the two large, oval tailpipes and roof spoiler are functional too.

Another example: the ride height of the Audi RS 4 Avant, Cabriolet and their saloon counterpart is 30 millimetres lower than that of the standard A4. To accommodate this change, the track of both axles has been widened. As a result, he car not only sits more unwaveringly on the road, but also handles better.

Audi RS4 quattro Avant - back side view

Variable load area for generous storage capacity in the RS 4 Avant.

In any case, the RS 4 Avant is not just about sports. It's meant to be practical for everyday too. Its load area combines an exclusive atmosphere with optimum usability and a versatile layout. The variable load-area floor provides generous storage capacity. It can be opened wholly or in part, or removed altogether. The low loading lip and smooth side edges facilitate loading of objects of up to one metre in width. The smooth-surfaced inner side panels have no bulges, making the load area look tidy at all times. A full range of clever details such as a net for small items and lashing points enhance the practical utility of the Audi RS 4 Avant.

A virtually level load area is made by folding down the divided rear seat. The luggage cover and load guard are housed in a space-efficient housing that can be folded away together with the seat back.

Audi RS4 quattro saloon (sedan) - back side view

RS 4 quattro was launched first as a saloon late last year.

RS 4 Cabriolet - Never before has an open-top production Audi had so much power on tap: the RS 4 Cabriolet puts the brand at the forefront of the four-seater convertible segment. The 420 bhp V8 engine transforms the open-top RS 4 into a veritable sports car that is also ideal for relaxed cruising, with the unmistakable sound of the V8 engine. Particularly with its roof open, the hearty sound of the eight-cylinder engine reaches the occupants' ears unfiltered.

Visually, the Cabriolet is recognisable at first glance as a member of the RS 4 family. The rhombus-pattern single-frame grille, the additional air outlets and the new RS 4 wheels lend the open-top four-seater a highly dynamic flavour.

Inside, the seats are the main feature distinguishing the RS 4 Cabriolet from the Avant and saloon. Whereas the other two body versions are equipped with RS bucket seats, the Cabriolet comes with sports seats as standard, though RS bucket seats can be ordered as an option. The most important information units in the Cabriolet are combined beneath a domed cover.

Audi RS4 quattro radiator grille.

The single-frame radiator grille with a rhombus-pattern grid.

The electro-hydraulic hood can be opened entirely automatically in 21 seconds. The roof can be operated at up to speeds of 30 km/h. This makes it possible to open or close the roof when out and about in town, for instance, or before parking the car.

The glass rear window is heated to guarantee a clear view to the rear in all weather.

New fabrics of a higher material density and an additional cushioned mat around the C-post keep the noise level inside the car with the hood almost on a par with the saloon. As with the saloon and Avant, the ride height of the Cabriolet has been lowered by 30 millimetres compared with the A4 Cabriolet. This emphasises the car's sporty appearance.

Even if the Audi Cabriolet's weight has been rigorously trimmed down, in common with all other RS 4 models no corners have been cut with either its equipment or its standards of safety.

The further improved crash strength of the latest A4 Cabriolet generation has likewise benefited the open-top RS 4. The front and side airbags are standard features, as are the rollover bars that extend behind the rear seats in the event of the car overturning.

Audi RS4 quattro V8 - 4.2 litre FSI engine.

FSI Petrol direct-injection: 420 bhp V8 engine revs up to 8,250 rpm.

Engine - The 420 bhp V8 engine (4,163 cc) revs up to a speed of 8,250 rpm, breaking the barrier of 100 bhp per litre (100.88 bhp / 1000 cc exactly). The highly compact power unit reaches its peak torque of 430 Nm at 5,500 rpm. At least 90 percent of the maximum torque is available between 2,250 and 7,600 rpm, for excellent pulling power at all times, without frequent gear changes.

Audi's RS 4 saloon employs FSI technology. The petrol direct-injection unit delivers enhanced power output based on more efficient combustion of the fuel/air mixture. The engine is also more responsive. The performance of the RS 4 clearly demonstrates this progress: it reaches the 100 km/h mark in 4.8 seconds (Avant 4.9 seconds, Cabriolet 4.9 seconds), and 200 km/h in 16.6 seconds (16.9 seconds; 17.5 seconds). On all three versions, the speed is governed electronically when the needle reaches 250 km/h.

Audi has deployed the high-revving engine principle for the first time in the RS 4. The V8 power unit is ultra-compact in its dimensions, fitting snugly into the engine compartment of the RS 4 without necessitating any modifications to the body. The camshaft and ancillaries, with the exception of the alternator, are all driven by a chain for easy maintenance. An all-new development, the eight-cylinder unit powering the RS 4 includes such features as modified pistons and con rods, a new crankshaft together with its bearings, and new cylinder heads.

Audi RS4 quattro alloy wheel and perforated brake disc.

Perforated ventilated discs behind alloy wheels developed for the RS 4.

A dual-branch exhaust system with enlarged pipes provides even higher power output. These extensive measures have enabled the 4,163 cm3 engine to break through the magical 100 bhp per litre barrier.

The car's power-to-weight ratio is at a remarkable 3.93 kg per bhp, a figure that only the most thoroughbred sports cars were able to offer just a few years ago. The figure for the Avant is only slightly higher.

Drivetrain - The latest generation of quattro permanent four-wheel drive, which featured first in the RS 4 saloon and offers a asymmetric/dynamic torque split of 40 (front axle) to 60 (rear axle) in conjunction with the self-locking centre differential, is one of the main reasons why the RS 4 is still able to provide traction when other drive concepts have long since reached their limits. quattro drive is further enhanced by the DRC suspension system (Dynamic Ride Control), which significantly reduces the rolling and pitching movements of the vehicle about its transverse axis and rear axle.

Audi RS4 quattro cabriolet - dashboard.

The width of the seat base and seat back can be adjusted electrically.

The brakes adopt an 18-inch format for optimum deceleration, with floating, perforated, ventilated brake discs measuring 365 millimetres in diameter at the front, and other likewise perforated, ventilated brake discs at the rear with a diameter of 324 millimetres.

The latest generation of ESP has been modified specifically to intervene later and for shorter periods. It is also possible to disable the ESP in two stages. In the first stage only the traction control (ASR) function is disabled; the other ESP functions remain fully active. In the second stage the ESP is completely deactivated, including the traction control. All electronic control then ceases.

The servotronic steering has been specially tuned with direct response and short travel.

Audi has likewise adapted the six-speed gearbox to the handling requirements of a sports car,  with its precision navigating through the shift gate and its short travel.

Audi RS4 quattro cabriolet - dashboard, facing view.

Audi RS4 quattro cabriolet - steering wheel and instruments.

Audi RS4 quattro cabriolet - console.

Standard features include a deluxe automatic air conditioning system, the concert radio system, Audi parking system at the front and rear, high-intensity xenon plus headlights an RS logo worked into the flat-bottomed RS sports steering wheel as well as into the seat upholstery and door sill, extensive use of carbon fibre and aluminium, engine start/ stop at the push of a button.

Equipment - Although weight was one of the main considerations in the development of the Audi RS 4, the car boasts an extensive range of equipment. Standard features include a deluxe automatic air conditioning system, the concert radio system, central locking and electric windows , Audi parking system at the front and rear, high-intensity xenon plus headlights, an RS logo worked into the flat-bottomed RS sports steering wheel as well as into the seat upholstery and door sill, extensive use of carbon fibre and aluminium, engine start/ stop at the push of a button.

Two of the functions controlled directly from the RS sports steering wheel are the lap timer and the Sport button. Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) provides sporty, dynamic handling by significantly reducing body roll and pitch, while nevertheless providing an exceptionally high standard of ride comfort for a sports car.

All RS 4 models come with 18-inch cast aluminium wheels of 5-spoke design. As an optional extra, there are 19-inch wheels of a double 7-spoke design.

In the saloon and Avant, the front passengers get sports bucket seats providing maximum support even when the car is driven energetically. The width of the seat base and seat back can be adjusted electrically as preferred. Even greater lateral support can be obtained by pressing the Sport button. As well as calling up a modified, more spontaneous throttle response and an even more sporty sound from the exhaust system, this function inflates the seat side sections, supporting the driver even more securely.

The Cabriolet is equipped with leather-upholstered sports seats, taking the higher comfort requirements of Cabriolet drivers into account. Here too, RS bucket seats are available as an option.

Audi's optional extras for the RS 4 include the navigation system plus and the symphony radio system. On the RS 4 saloon and RS 4 Avant, various exterior mirror versions (optionally also with fold-in function), the sports suspension plus and the comfort package are also available. This comfort package comprises features such as cruise control and heated front seats.

Other customisation options are offered through the quattro GmbH services, all available from Audi dealerships.

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